Jones Tells McChrystal to Be Quiet
The national security adviser, upset by Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s recent speech, told CNN that it’s “better for military advice to come up through the chain of command.” As criticism goes, that’s substantively mild and theatrically loud. And that’s probably how Jim Jones, a retired four-star Marine general and NATO commander, wanted it. It’s also worth remembering that McChrystal repeatedly defended President Obama in his Thursday remarks in London and also repeatedly declined to discuss pending decisions on troops. McChrystal very mildly gave his perspective on restricting the mission to counterterrorism, and it’s absolutely nothing he hasn’t already said or written in public at, among other venues, his confirmation hearing.
Accordingly, a Pentagon official quoted by The Washington Post observes:
“General McChrystal was simply speaking to the situation on the ground as he sees it and how he would execute the president’s current strategy — the mission he has been assigned,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive internal matter. “He was not pushing his views or in any way trying to influence policy.”
The story of McChrystal’s remarks has been misreported and overblown, as I believe I’ve demonstrated. But it is what it is, and if nothing else, Jones’ remarks will probably ensure that there isn’t going to be a recurrence of it.